This article which appeared in the New York Times last week has caused a lot of controversy out there in the blogosphere and touches on stuff we’ve been talking about recently. The author, with a hint of self-deprecation, gently criticises those who style their homes to within an inch of their lives and fills them with ‘props’, such as vintage typewriters which look pretty but which are never going to be used.
You used to see it a lot in homes which were styled for interiors mags or had been pulled together by an interior designer and filled with objects, art and even books, which had been chosen for how they looked in the space and not for what they meant to the inhabitants.
But now in these days of interiors mags, design blogs, books about design blogs and, heaven help us, Pinterest, design trends and ideas seem to appear, become ubiquitous and turn into clichés in the blink of an eye. As this also fascinating article in Vanity Fair has it, so many of us now;
‘have become amateur stylists—scrupulously attending, as never before, to the details and meanings of the design and décor of their homes, their clothes, their appliances, their meals, their hobbies, and more.’
There has been an inevitable backlash from bloggers, and lots of heated discussions on Facebook etc. – after all what’s wrong with wanting to create a beautiful and carefully curated living space?
For me part of the key is authenticity – by all means colour code your books if it’s easier for you to find them that way; display your Le Creuset pots with pride if you actually use them for cooking and revel in that inherited Arco lamp that fills you with memories of a favourite aunt.
And yes, stubbornly continue to enjoy your owls even after 81% of your readers have told you they’re over as a design trend.
But at what point does today’s pretty object turn into tomorrow’s ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster? How do you decide what objects to give houseroom to? And what mistakes have you made – barcarts and globes that just gather dust; trendy paint colours that now make you cringe; objects that you bought on a whim because you saw them in a design blog, but have never really fitted into your home?
The writer of the article lists – extremely weird – design clichés here. Some like the bar cart I can totally understand, but fresh flowers, a cliché? Seriously?